Gnocchi – Italian Potato Dumplings
Some Italian dishes quite firmly woven into the outline of the cuisines of many countries. Which, unfortunately, cannot be said about Gnocchi. Despite a long history, they are only beginning to gain popularity outside their homeland. This is a kind of dumpling from Italy. As with many dishes of the republic, gnocchi recipes differ significantly from region to region. The culinary traditions of different countries of the world also have their analogues.
Our article will help you understand the difficult world of such simple flour products.
Gnocchi has rather deep roots that date back to the 16th century, the period in which the import of potatoes from America began. However, the potato version of the dish is just an evolution of a much older Italian recipe dating back to 1300. In fact, the very first gnocchi were called zanzarelli.
Their base was not potatoes or semolina, but grated stale bread. It was mixed with dried fruits and milk and molded balls. In the XVII century, despite the fact that potatoes were already widespread in Italy, gnocchi from this root crop had not yet gained due popularity. In most regions, crushed crackers in the recipe were replaced with flour, and milk with water and eggs. This dish was called “malfatti”. The first documented recipe for potato gnocchi dates back to the second half of the 18th century. And since the end of the 19th century, the popularity of food has spread throughout the country with the speed of a fire. The term “gnocchi” was derived either from the Italian nocchio, meaning “a knot on a tree”, or from nocca (knuckle). Probably the name is associated with the form.
It should be noted that the size of Italian dumplings has changed over time. From the size of a chicken egg, they reached small “shells” for one bite. This decrease necessitated a better impregnation of the dough with the accompanying sauce. Varieties by Region There are many variations of gnocchi. But, nevertheless, they have common characteristics to fit into one group of products. Let’s see which dumplings are eaten in different regions of Italy. Puglia Gnocchi from Puglia (Puglia) are called Triddhi. These are small pieces of dough made from semolina, grated cheese, eggs and parsley.
They are boiled in meat broth and eaten for Christmas or Easter. Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont Residents of Piedmont (Piemonte) and Valle d’Aosta (Valle d’Aosta) prefer the so-called dunderet or strangoiapreve. They are a mixture of flour, potatoes, eggs and milk. They have a different shape, but more often look like small, elongated “fingers”. Val Varaita is another type of potato gnocchi characteristic of the Castelmagno municipality. The dough for them is prepared with the inclusion of cheese Tom (Tomino).
Serve generously flavored with butter and grated cheese. Veneto Italians from Veneto adhere to classic preferences. Potato gnocchi usually accompanies pastissada, a traditional Venetian stew of horse meat. The menu of the region’s restaurants includes a version of gnochi con la fioreta – ricotta mixed with flour and eggs. They are boiled and served with butter and cheese. During the carnival on the streets of Venice you can meet a funny character – Papà del Gnoco. This is a gray-bearded old man, dressed in a red-white outfit with a mantle. In his hands flaunts a large fork with a gnoc strung on it.
Campaign Gnocchi alla sorrentina (Gnocchi alla sorrentina) – represent the cuisine of Campania (Campania). In fact, these are potato dumplings seasoned with a characteristic sauce. It consists of tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, basil and cheese fior di latte (fior di latte). Lazio The undisputed leader among dumplings in the Lazio region is considered gnocchi alla romana (gnocchi alla romana). They are made on the basis of semolina, milk, butter, eggs and parmesan. The cylinder-shaped dough is cut into medallions, which are baked in the oven, and not boiled.
In the area of Amatrice, curly gnocchi (gnocchi ricci) are popular. They owe their name to their shape, which is obtained by flattening a piece of dough between the thumb and forefinger. The classic way of serving food is in combination with lamb stew and pecorino cheese. Lombardy Pawnshops do not have much love for potatoes, so spinach and various herbs are more common in their gnocchi. Although in some recipes there is a small amount of mashed potatoes from the American root crop.
One of the variants of the northern dumplings is called malfatti. This is a mixture of spinach with eggs and chopped breadcrumbs. Ideally, they need to “rest” the night before cooking, but the most impatient ones cook them immediately, seasoning them before serving with a large amount of oil and grated parmesan. In the commune of Gera Lario (Gera Lario) there is a recipe called gnocchi alla lariana (gnocchi alla lariana). Their dough includes flour, eggs, milk and herbs. The finished dish is served with fresh cheese, tomato or meat sauce.